Aloft Hotels, the mid-market brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts, arrives in the UK on Monday with the opening of a 252-bedroom property at London's ExCel.
Starwood expects Aloft London Excel will shake up the staid and traditional mid-market hotel sector with its urban-influenced design and informal, but energetic guest experience. Rooms start at £120.
Senior vice president of Aloft, Brian McGuinness, said that Aloft is the fastest brand launch in the history of hotels, with the opening of 55 hotels since the first one in Montreal, Canada, welcomed guests in 2008.
"Originally the brand was aimed at the 26-30 year age group, but what we have seen is that it appeals to anyone with a young mind-set, whether they are 25 or 45," he said.
"We are keen to expand the brand further in the UK with more openings in London as well as in cities such as Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. The important thing is getting the right location, whether it is adjacent to convention centres or airports, or in a university or mixed neighbourhood with a busy bar and restaurant culture."
The key features of the Aloft London Excel include bedrooms designed by the Rockwell Group featuring Aloft's signature ceilings of nearly three metres high, oversized windows and platform beds; 42″ LCD TVs, free WiFi access throughout the hotel, the re:mix lounge for drinks and a game of pool; wxyz bar; re:fuel by Aloft serving 24-hour grab-and go food and drinks, the re:charge 24/7 fitness centre; and splash swimming pool.
Aloft London Excel has been developed by ExCel London's parent company, Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, which also owns the Aloft Abu Dhabi.
Aloft is the second new brand to be introduced by Starwood to the UK this year following the launch of W London in February.
By Janet Harmer
E-mail your comments to Janet Harmer here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs